There are few places where you can climb and freewheel through seemingly endless red landscapes made up of ancient canyons, soaring cliffs and some of the most unique rock formations on earth. Utah is one of them. From some of the US's most remarkable national parks to the quirky towns and warm hospitality of the Southwest, a cycling tour in this desert state promises to be an unforgettable adventure. But what exactly do you need to bring? Packing for a cycling tour isn’t too different from any other adventure, but if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific essentials.
Clothing & footwear
A helmet goes without saying. Not only is it compulsory to wear one on our trips, but you'll be much more relaxed knowing that your head is protected as you're whooshing along the roads. We're unable to hire bike helmets locally, so make sure you bring one from home or purchase one before your trip.
2. Padded bike shorts
There's nothing worse than a numb bum. Designed to reduce the pressure on the sit bones and absorb the vibrations from your bike tires on the asphalt, padded bike shorts are a must for every cycler. They also help prevent chafing on your legs as they rub against the saddle. You can get padded bike shorts in both tight lycra and baggy style.
3. Quick-dry jerseys
You can definitely get away with bringing cotton t-shirts, but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in the warm and humid conditions during the summer.
4. Quick-dry socks
After a long day of cycling, sweaty feet are inevitable. Quick-dry socks are not only made with breathable fabric to help minimise excess moisture, but they're lightweight and will dry quickly if you need to give them a quick wash.
5. Waterproof/windproof gear
It might be in a dry, desert climate zone, but Utah still experiences four distinct seasons with hot summers and cold winters. Depending on when you go, you may find the nights and early mornings are chilly so you'll need a windproof/waterproof jacket (and maybe long pants) to stay warm. You might still need windproof gear even in the warmer months in case you experience wind chill when you're riding downhill.
6. Sports shoes
You can get away with wearing normal sports shoes, but you might want to consider a flat sports shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling much easier. If you're a regular cyclist, you're welcome to bring your own cycling-specific shoes, but we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have good grip on the sole rather than 'road bike' shoes as you will still be doing plenty of walking in places like Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.
As well as sports shoes, a pair of sandals or thongs will come in handy for when you're walking to dinner, going to grab a coffee in the morning or chilling in your hotel in the evening as you can just slip them on.
1. Water bottle
It's super important to stay hydrated throughout the day. All bikes will have at least one fitted bottle holder (a second one can be fitted if required), so make sure you bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out. A Camelbak is another option if you're looking for an even more efficient way to drink on the go.
2. Sun protection
Well-fitted (and ideally, polarised) sports sunglasses help protect your eyes from dust, insects and (of course) the sun. Make sure they fit your head and face well and are comfortable to wear all day. High-protective sunscreen (e.g. SPF 50) and a sun hat are also essential as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun. The Utah sun can be unforgiving and the last thing you want is to burn or not be able to enjoy the views because you're squinting all day.
3. Day pack
If you're going on a Utah cycling tour, our support vehicle will carry your main bag, however, you'll still need a day bag for your camera, change of clothes, purse, snacks, etc. Aim for a small bag big enough for the essentials as you don't want to be weighed down.
4. Rain gear
The weather varies quite a bit throughout the year in Utah, but regardless of when you visit, pack a light rain poncho just in case the weather turns when you’re on the road.
The saddles provided on a Utah cycling tour are usually standard, unisex models. You may wish to bring your own gel seat cover to give you a bit more cushioning.
All bikes come with flat pedals, but again, if you usually ride with a particular type of pedal, feel free to bring them with you.
3. Cycling gloves
Cycling gloves aren't essential, but we recommended bringing a pair as they'll make your riding more comfortable, prevent pesky blisters from forming, and can help protect your hands if you fall.
Our Utah cycling tours